The largest Lodge in UGLE installs Robert Whittingham as new WM

Barry Stedman explains how lives of residents at PEDOKC are made more fulfilling

On 31st October 2023 at Saxon Hall in Southend, 207 Masons witnessed the Installation of Robert Whittingham into the Worshipful Master’s Chair of the Essex Masters’ Lodge No. 3256. The attendees included the Provincial Grand Master (PGM), Paul Tarrant, accompanied by the Deputy PGM, Nick Franklin; the Deputy Grand Superintendent in the Royal Arch, Elliott Chevin; Past PGM, John Webb; plus four Assistant PGMs. 

Soon after opening the Lodge in the three Degrees, Graham Felton, the WM, handed the gravel to the PGM, who installed his Provincial Wardens into the Wardens’ chairs and declared the Provincial Grand Lodge open.  The PGM thanked the retiring Provincial Grand Secretary, Richard Jordan, for all his help and work and then appointed and invested Jonathon Glynn in his place. The PGM declared the Provincial Grand Lodge closed and returned the gavel to the WM.  The WM resumed the Lodge to the First Degree and replaced the Provincial Grand Wardens with the Lodge Wardens.

The WM welcomed 10 honoured guests from Past Masters Lodges in surrounding Provinces and all the other Lodge visitors, and then conducted a ballot for 17 joining members. Those present were presented to the PGM and welcomed into the Lodge by the WM, Graham Felton, who then installed the Master Elect Robert Whittingham into King Solomon’s Chair and proclaimed for the first, second  and third time from the North West.

After Robert Whittingham had appointed and invested his Officers for 2023/24, he informed the Immediate Past Master, Graham Felton, that the Treasurer had made a donation of £500 to The Southend Masonic Welfare Trust in recognition of Graham’s services to the Lodge in his year as Master.

A very interesting address was made by Barry Stedman in his capacity as the President of the Association of Friends of Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court on how the RMBI care home operated and how the Association was funded and assisted in making the lives of the residents a more fulfilling experience.

Alistair Barnwell, the Lodge Secretary, informed the meeting that he had 35 potential members being proposed and that if the ballot for them is successful, at the February 2024 meeting, it would bring the membership to 907.  This makes Essex Masters’ the largest private Lodge in the English constitution and probably in the World.

Watch the short video at Welcome to Prince Edward Duke of Kent Court - 2023 on Vimeo.  Learn more about the work of the Friends of Stisted ( and how you can help make the lives of residents more fulfilling by joining and being part of the Team.

All Past Masters of any Province, District or Metropolitan Grand Lodge, who are Essex Freemasons can join what is probably the largest Masonic lodge in the world, simply contact Alistair Barnwell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Top: The newly installed WM, (centre) and Officers of Essex Masters’ Lodge No. 3256, 2023/2024

Bottom (L-R): Jonathon Glynn, the new Provincial Grand Secretary being congratulated by the PGM, Paul Tarrant